Posted by: Hil | July 9, 2008

Kitchen Sink Vegetable Soup with Poached Eggs

This is my favorite kind of dinner:  healthy, dirt cheap, with just enough flare to make things interesting.  Basic veggie soup is a staple in my diet.  I always have broth, onion, carrot, celery and canned tomatoes on hand, which is enough to make the base of a very tasty, quick, cheap soup.  From there, you can add whatever else you have in your fridge (I had zucchini today) and flavor it with any herbs, spices or vinegars in your pantry.  Some days I add noodles or grains or beans for bulk, but today I topped my soup with poached eggs and served it with a piece of whole wheat naan.  I also had some deliciously tart grapefruit.

Poached eggs are honestly not hard to make, and they make such a great topping for soup or toast or (best of all) a spinach salad.  There is no sauce you can concoct that is better than perfectly poached egg yolk, and it’s so fun to cut into them!  People seem so scared of the fat and calories in egg yolks, but that’s where all of the flavor and nutrients are, including hard-to-get vitamin D.  I always spluge and buy organic omega-3 eggs…it’s so hard to get enough omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, and this is one of the best ways to get them besides eating fatty fish, so I think it’s worth the extra money.  The brand I get has only 1.5 grams of saturated fat per egg, which compares very favorably to most forms of meat or dairy. 

 Please forgive the scary appearance of the following explanation, because I broke rule number 1 of egg poaching:  use fresh eggs!  The eggs will stay together much better if you do.  My eggs a bit old the old side…still perfectly good, but not ideal for poaching.  But they were what I had, and I needed to use them up.

First, heat a couple inches of water in a deep pan or sauce pan.  If you have one of those typically useless non-stick saucepans on hand, USE IT.  You won’t need high heat, and the nonstick surface will be of great help.  Heat the water to just under the simmering point, so that it is steaming but not bubbling.  Add a dash of white vinegar or lemon juice, as this will help the whites stay together.  This next point is very important:  crack your eggs into a small container so that you can gently slide them into the hot water.  Trying to crack them directly into the pot is a recipe for messy whites, even if you are careful.

Make sure than you space the eggs as far apart as possible, around the edge of the pot or pan.  The following picture is MUCH scarier looking than what you can expect, but even if it looks like this, that’s fine.  They’ll still look fine when you pull them out, you might just have some threads of the white left your pot.

Knowing how long to cook them is a matter of intuition.  It will probably take at least five minutes.  The white should turn completely opaque.  You can test them by gently tapping the top of the egg with a spoon.  You can also pull the egg up out of the water and tap with your finger.  Just imagine what a perfectly poached egg would feel like under your finger and compare.  If it jiggles all over the place, it needs more time, but you don’t want it to completely harden either.

When the eggs are done to your liking, get a nice big serving spoon and scoop them out of the water.  Have courage…even if your pot looks scary, changes are that you can pull most of the egg out intact!



  1. huh
    I love me some poached eggs but always fear I wont cook them long enough myself (Im notorious for being in a rushrushhurry)

    i might give this a shot….THANKS!

  2. That’s such a cool idea – I would have never thought of using poached eggs as a soup topping! I love egg drop soup, so I can imagine how good it tastes! Thanks for the tip 🙂

  3. thanks for the detailed explanation on how to poach eggs—i love them but have always been way to intimidated to try it myself. i think i’ll give it a try sometime soon!

  4. What a perfectly simple and tasty meal! This is such a great idea!

  5. Are you ever fabulous! I also think that part of being a classy woman is knowing how to poach an egg- and I, of course, don’t know how. Thank you so much for the tutorial!

  6. […] on Egg Poaching I’m glad so many people appreciated the egg poaching instructions!  I hope you all give it a try–it’s not that hard at all and you can instantly […]

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